Mr Romil Patel has announced the launch of the new Pharmacy First service in Ash Vale. The Pharmacy First service was created to enable Community Pharmacists to supply prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals where clinically appropriate, to treat seven common health conditions without the need to visit a GP. There is no additional cost to this Pharmacy First service at the Ash Vale Pharmacy and Travel Clinic, all treatments and prescriptions that are NHS-funded are now accessible, but without additional consultation with your GP.
Mr Romil (Ash Vale Pharmacy & Travel Clinic) said:
Anyone can just walk into the pharmacy, and As a Pharmacist I will assess them and can also prescribe the antibiotics if needed in our private consultation room. My aim is to help mitigate long wait times at our local GP by reducing their work and helping residents directly at our Pharmacy. You can also book a Pharmacy Services appointment online by visiting ashvalepharmacy.uk/book-an-appointment, phone 01252 330377 or see me in-store. Monday to Friday 0900-18:30 & Saturday 09:00 – 17:30. The Pharmacy is located on Wharf Rd, Ash Vale, Aldershot GU12 5AZ.
Pharmacy First targeted conditions
The seven common conditions, now treatable without the need to visit your GP are:
- sore throat
- acute otitis media
- infected insect bite
- uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women
Will I have to pay for my medication?
Usual prescription charges will apply for the seven common conditions. Patients who were already exempt from prescription charges will still be exempt.
What is the Pharmacy First service?
In March 2022 Community Pharmacy England made a proposal to the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England for a Pharmacy First service. Since then it has been campaigning to build wider support for the proposal from stakeholders and influencers.
Whilst UK government’s Pharmacy First service is to be made available nationally, it is up to each individual pharmacy to launch and promote their service, which aims to enable community pharmacies to supply some prescription-only medication, where clinically appropriate, without the need for a GP appointment and a prescription.
In a statement Community Pharmacy England said:
The Pharmacy First service, which will commence on 31st January 2024 (subject to the required IT systems being in place), is a crucial first step in recognising and properly funding the enormous amount of healthcare advice that community pharmacies provide to the public every day and in establishing and funding community pharmacy as the first port of call for healthcare advice.
The service will also incorporate the existing elements of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, i.e. minor illness consultations with a pharmacist and the supply of urgent medicines (and appliances), both following a referral from NHS 111, general practices* and other authorised healthcare providers (i.e. patients are not able to present to the pharmacy without a referral).
*General practices cannot refer patients for Supply of urgent medicines (and appliances).
In the clinical pathway consultations with a pharmacist, people with symptoms suggestive of the seven conditions will be provided with advice and will be supplied, where clinically necessary, with a prescription-only treatment under a Patient Group Direction (PGD) or in one pathway, an over-the-counter medicine (supplied under a clinical protocol), all at NHS expense.
In the future, we hope that independent prescribers will be able to use their skills to complete episodes of care within the service, without the need for a PGD. However, for the time being, all pharmacists providing the service must use the PGDs and clinical protocol.